History Paper 1
Historical Figure: “Nikola Tesla”
Throughout history, there have been many great scientists and inventors that have had a big influence in the United States, as well as the entire world. One of these scientists was Nikola Tesla. Many times he is referred to as the genius who changed the way in which we use energy. Nikola Tesla was born to Serbian parents on 28 June of 1856 in the village of Smiljan, in the Austrian Empire. His father was Milutin Tesla, who was a priest in the Serbian Orthodox Church. His mother was Duka Tesla, and her father was a Serbian Orthodox priest as well. Nikola Tesla was the fourth of five children. His older brother Danilo Tesla was killed in a horse riding accident when Nikola was very young. In 1862 his family moved to Gospic. Nikola went to school at Higher Real Gymnasium in Karlovac. Because of his especially high level of intellect he concluded the entire four year college term in the span of only three years. His interest for electrical engineering led him to study this field at the Austrian Polytechnic in Graz, on 1875. His particular interest was related to the uses of alternating current (AC). According to some sources, Nikola received Baccalaureate degrees from this university. However, the university itself says that he actually did not receive a degree, because he stopped attending lectures after the first semester of his third year in college. Surprisingly enough, Nikola left Graz and broke all relationships with his family in December 1878. Many people even thought that he had drowned in the Mur River. After this, he started a new stage of his life. He moved to Marburg, in order to find a job. There he worked as an assistant engineer for a year. This period of time must have been very hard on him, as he suffered a nervous breakdown. However, he didn’t let this overly affect him, so he attended the Charles-Ferdinand University in Prague during the summer of 1880, after being persuaded to do so by his father.
While he was studying at this institution, he was influenced by the Austrian physicist and philosopher Ernst Mach. He only attended this university for one term though, because of his father’s death. After this, Nikola dedicated his time to acquire more knowledge through the reading of many works. He was alleged of having photographic memory, so he was able to even memorize all these books entirely. This time was very important and useful for him, as he developed his mind and his ideas with his own effort and dedication. However, not everything was perfect in his early life. He was stricken with illness from time to time. He suffered a weird affliction which caused him to experience blinding flashes of light that appeared before his eyes and were followed by visions. This was extremely peculiar as these visions were usually related to an idea of his, and would sometimes even provide him with the solution to a problem. These symptoms are similar to what modern day synesthetes report. He was able to visualize his ideas or inventions in his mind, with great amount of detail and precision. This ability allowed him to perform picture thinking at an extremely high level, as he visualized all his ideas in his mind before actually constructing any of his inventions. Normal scientist would make hand drawings or models of his ideas and inventions, in order to develop them further and in preparation for construction. However, due to Nikola’s ability, he only needed his mind to think about his ideas. It’s also known that he experienced flashbacks from time to time, of past events from his life. This was probably related to his condition. Later in his life, by 1882, he moved to Paris. There he worked as an engineer for the Continental Edison Company. His duties were related to designing improvements to electric equipment that was brought overseas, from Thomas Edison’s ideas. He spent a lot of time working on his inventions. A lot of his effort went